More than 20,000 Indians have lost their lives in six Middle East countries over the past three years, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
As per a written reply submitted by the Ministry to Parliament on Wednesday, 20,403 Indians have died from January 2016 till May 2019 in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Of these, 9,057 deaths have been reported from Saudi Arabia alone.
The six Gulf nations account for nearly 71 per cent of deaths of Indians reported from foreign countries in the past three years. The information was provided to the Lok Sabha by V Muraleedharan, minister of state in the union ministry of external affairs.
The ministry has provided a breakdown of deaths of Indians reported from 126 foreign countries in the past three years. The number of Indians who died on foreign soil stands at 28,794 during this period.
The ministry has outlined in the reply on steps taken by it to help families of Indians who die abroad. As per the ministry, matters relating to compensation and terminal dues are actively pursued with employers and insurance companies. In cases which are pending with the courts, Indian missions and posts liaise with lawyers for expeditious settlement of the cases.
"Financial support to families of the deceased Indian nationals for airlifting of mortal remains is also made available by Indian Missions/ Posts abroad in deserving cases on a means tested basis from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)," states the report.